08/08/2023 TSC Minutes
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574
AUGUST 8, 2023 MINUTES OF
BETHLEHEM TRANSFER STATION COMMITTEE
The meeting commenced at 6:01 PM in the Town Library. Present were Nancy Strand,
Chris Jensen, Margaret Gale, Julie Seeley, and Barry Zitser.
There was no public input.
Membership was briefly addressed, since one of the Committee’s members, Katherine
Darges, has recently moved out of Town, and it was not clear whether she desired to
continue her membership. Barry made a motion to authorize Nancy to email Katherine
and ask her whether she desired to continue her membership in the Committee, and to
further authorize Nancy to request the Select Board to remove her from membership if
Katherine no longer desired to serve on the Committee or did not respond. The motion
was seconded and it passed unanimously.
Nancy updated the Committee on grant opportunities for the proposed transfer station on
Route 116. The Town was recently notified that no money is available this year for
the Town’s pending Community Facilities grant application before the U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA). This lack of funding was unanticipated, since when the Town was
first encouraged to apply for funding by the USDA the Town was advised that there was
sufficient funds. While the USDA will allow the Town to keep in its application,
future funding expectations should be more in the range of $50,000 to $75,000, as
opposed to the Town’s application request for approximately $309,000. The sudden dry
up of funding for such rural development projects may be due to diversion of funds for
Congressional earmarks. The Town Administration has reached out to Senator Shaheen
for possible assistance, and has been in touch with her aide, Chuck Henderson, who also
happens to be a Bethlehem resident. Mr. Henderson has been responsive and helpful.
It was suggested that the Committee should look to the Northern Border Regional
Commission (NBRC) for a grant. Barry updated the Committee on the types of
previous projects that received NBRC grants, along with the amounts. Chris noted
that in the past, there was a time when Bethlehem was considered to be doing too
well economically for NBRC grants, but that this has changed. Mr. Fortier of the NBRC
was contacted by the Town Administrator and suggested that we wait until after the third
week in August, after some internal NBRC meetings, for further discussions on this issue.
When Mr. Fortier was first contacted he noted that the Bethlehem Village District
had a current grant application before the NBRC, and he appeared to believe this
was an active application by the Town. The Town Administrator, Mary Moritz,
immediately clarified to Mr. Fortier that the Bethlehem Village District is a separate
governing body from the Town, and that, given it was a separate government entity,
inquired as to whether this would count against a separate Town application. She was
informed by Mr. Fortier that if the Village District were to get a grant from NBRC this
year it would not affect a separate Town application, and he looked forward to future
communications on this issue. Barry praised Mary’s prompt clarification.
Nancy suggested that we start looking for other potential donors. With respect to the
search for future grants, Chris stated he would check with Senator Hassan’s office and the
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. Barry volunteered to check on
non-governmental entities and the Northeast Resource Recovery Association, and New
Hampshire the Beautiful.
The next edition of Just Be Greener was approved, with some suggestions added on shortening by Chris and clarifying language by Margaret on composting. It was also approved that Mary Moritz be listed as the contact person for persons interested in joining the Committee, with Barry as the back-up person if Mary is not willing.
The minutes of the Committee’s May 30, 2023 meeting were approved.
Under new business Chris mentioned that if the Town cannot obtain sufficient financing to build and maintain its own transfer station, that the Committee may want to consider use of an existing regional facility as a back-up plan.
The next meeting of the Committee was established for September 26th.
The meeting adjourned at 6:57 PM.